Letter to Bella, month eighteen

Dear Bella,

You may not know this about yourself yet, but you are 100 percent pork ... of the ham variety. You love to laugh and to make others laugh. I am not a natural comedian, but you, little girl, you have it.

I think I first realized it when we were at the photoshoot in early October. You are very shy with new people, but you kept your eye on the photographer and her little girl. You grinned at them when you thought they weren't looking. You peered around corners at them. When we all laughed at your antics, you played them up even more. Nothing made you happier than having you feet in the fountain ... as evidenced by your wet clothes and frozen feet when the shoot was over.

And that's what I'll remember most about you at 18 months old. You are a whole barrell of monkeys. For instance, you loved moving to the big tub, but not just because of the space. You also love that we laugh when you try to eat the bubbles or when you sit on the back of the tub and slide into the water. You revel in how much we enjoy watching you "swim" in the water. This will be embarrassing one day, so I must throw it in here: You have a problem and it's called "poop in the tub" syndrome. I suppose that's a sign that you're really comfy in there, but it makes the job of finding you utterly adorable a teensy bit harder.

We took you to three big events that caused no small amount of family trepidation: the Lee Regional Fair, the Pumpkin Festival and the No Scare Fair. At both, you basked in being the center of attention. Whether you were kissing little puppies or dancing with giganto Minnie Mouses, you were the star. I was so worried that you'd be overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds - especially at the fair. But, not you. You wanted more of everything. More baby animals, more cotton candy, more carousel rides, more jumping in the bouncy house, and definitely more dancing onstage.

But you've had sweet, quiet moments, too. Often after you get home from daycare, I'll find you curled up beside your dad just drinking some juice while he watches the news. Or, you'd grab your favorite book (This Little Piggy) and climb into my lap, holding up your toes to let me know you're ready. My absolute favorite time of day with you is first thing in the morning. You wake up with crazy hair, jumping up and down in your crib, ready for the day. But when I pick you up, you collapse against me and let me snuggle you while you drink a big cup of warm Ovaltine. You are never sweeter than those moments.

Of course, they never last too long. You have been - and likely always will be - a busybody. There is no time for sitting around being sweet. You must dance and twirl and jump! You used to dance by twirling and bouncing, but now you must HOP to the music. You launch your body upwards so that both feet catch some air time before you land again ... and less than a second passes before you're up again.

As someone who watched you slowly move from getting up on wobbly hands and knees to gingerly pulling yourself up on stable objects to hesitantly creeping around on two legs, being in the presence of a hopping, dancing machine makes my heart soar. You will start gymnastics next month - and life as we know it will be over.

If you can't tell ... I'm so proud of you! You are an amazing little bundle of energy. Every day you learn something new. Yesterday, you dad taught you to say "Boo!" to scare people. We were eating grapes and you learned to say "pull!" when you would pull a grape off the stem. You love to say "knock knock" when you come to a closed door.

I think your brother said it best when we were sitting at the dinner table the other night. You were yelling "boo!" at all of us and he turned to me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad Bella is our baby!" That's the feeling we all have, sweet pea. We are blessed for having you in our lives.

Love, Mama


  • Jamie

    I love these posts. I hope that your beautiful daughter will come to cherish them someday.

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